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Sotheby's to offer one of the world's largest private Swatch collections ever known
Accompanied by a Keith Haring Swatch poster and an original Keith Haring drawing, the Keith Haring set is truly a trophy for Swatch collectors. Photo: Sotheby's.

HONG KONG.- This Spring, Sotheby’s Hong Kong presents Swatch & Art from the Dunkel Collection, one of the world’s largest Swatch collections in private hands ever known (estimate upon request). Comprising more than 5,800 elements collected over 25 years by Mr Paul Dunkel, a passionate European collector, this superlot encompasses exclusive prototypes, limited and special edition Swatch watches from 1983 to 2007, and collected artwork relating to Swatch designs. Swatch & Art from the Dunkel Collection will lead the Important Watches Spring Sale taking place on 7 April at the Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre.

Mr Paul Dunkel, owner of the Collection, says, “Collecting both the Swatch and the artworks is like having an intriguing marriage that works perfectly well, affording people the luxury of admiring art objects on their wrists.

What I enjoy the most about Swatch is that everybody can relate to it: regardless of age, origin, colour, culture, job and taste, most of us have had a Swatch in our lives. Over the years I have built an encyclopedic collection comprising nearly every model of Swatch produced in their first 25 years. I would like to thank Sotheby’s for the opportunity to share them with the world and I am looking forward to passing the legacy on to the next owner.”

Sharon Chan, Sotheby’s Head of Watches, Asia, comments, “This season we are thrilled to bring to the world one of the largest Swatch collection in private hands ever known, to be offered as a superlot. One would be absolutely amazed by the amount of artistic and creative energy that can be worn on the wrist. Each watch in this collection translates into a chapter of contemporary art, or even an attitude and an approach to life. It is also a wonderful revelation to me how many serious luxury watch collectors around us are also passionate Swatch lovers. I urge you to come and discover this fun and exciting world of Swatch.”

Riding on the quartz revolution in the late 1970s, Swatch made its initial mark on the business in 1983, taking the world by storm by merging the durable quartz movement with a playful style and synthetic materials. In 1985, the watch was officially turned into an actual art piece with the launch of Swatch Art Special, a series of collaborations with world-famous or up-and-coming artists from a broad range of disciplines initiated by Nicolas Hayek, founder of the Swatch Group.

Names immortalised in Swatch Art Special collaborations range from artists such as Keith Haring, Mark Kostabi, Sam Francis, Mimmo Paladino, Mimmo Rotella – most of them featured at the Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim Museum and Fondation Maeght – to world phenomena such as the Olympics Games, Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, the FIFA World Cup and James Bond movies along with their infamous villains. Produced in limited and numbered editions, each Swatch Art Special commemorates a unique occasion, extraordinary event or person.



A prototype is any preliminary version of a Swatch that is created before the actual production model is made to be put on the market. Very limited quantities of Swatch prototypes exist in the market, which places them among the rarest of Swatch collectibles. This collection encompasses some of the most unique Swatch prototypes from the early 1980s.

Keith Haring Set

American graffiti artist Keith Haring (1958 – 1990) came into prominence in the 1980s New York art scene and his iconic public murals, subway drawings as well as paintings typified the spirit of the decade, carefree, unconventional and bold. Offered in mint condition, the complete set of four limited edition Keith Haring Swatch watches launched in 1986 include Modele Avec Personnages, Serpent, Milles Pattes and Blanc sur Noir. Accompanied by a Keith Haring Swatch poster and an original Keith Haring drawing, the Keith Haring set is truly a trophy for Swatch collectors.

Kiki Picasso Set
Also known as “Kiki Picasso”, the French painter, moviemaker and designer Christian Chapiron (b. 1948), was the first artist featured in Swatch Art Special. This present example launched in 1985 is one of the first Swatch Art Special watches designed by Kiki Picasso, featuring a portrait of his wife and accompanied by a Swatch Kiki Picasso poster. Limited to just 140 pieces, Kiki Picasso is considered one of the most soughtafter special editions Swatches. A Kiki Picasso wristwatch was auctioned in London for US$28,000 / HK$218,400 in 1992.

One More Time by Alfred Hofkunst The Swatch trio, One More Time, was born from the collaboration between Swatch and Swiss visual artist Alfred Hofkunst (1942 – 2004), renowned for his trompe-l’oeil depictions of everyday objects. Based on the popular Swatch POP model, these three shapely limited edition watches resemble a cucumber (Guhrke), a chilli (Verduhra) and a strip of bacon (Bonjuhr) respectively and preserved in their original transparent vacuum packaging.

James Bond Leather Brief Case & James Bond Villains Set

Launched in 2002 to celebrate 007’s 40th anniversary, the James Bond Leather Briefcase comes with 20 watches each representing a Bond movie, the release date and title of which are engraved on the strap. The ultimate Bond memorabilia for watch collectors, the James Bond Leather Briefcase is highly sought after by fans of the British espionage classic.

The 007 collection is followed in 2008 with the launched of the James Bond Villains Set, produced in 222 numbered editions to pay tribute to some of Bond’s most outstanding nemeses from the bestknown 007 films, including Christopher Walken’s venomous Max Zorin, Gerd Froebe’s Goldfinger and Mads Mikkelsen’s Le Chiffre.

“Omega is James Bond’s watch of choice, but real interesting villains prefer Swatch”. Nicolas Hayek, founder of the Swatch Group.

Kidrobot For Swatch
Swatch’s 2011 collaboration with Kidrobot, an artdriven designer toy retailer and producer, resulted in a collection of eight Swatch watches each accompanied by a vinyl action figure named Dunny, which was created to be customised in a variety of styles by contemporary artists from diverse backgrounds, namely Gary Baseman, Jeremyville, Frank Kozik, Joe Ledbetter, MAD, Tara McPherson, SSUR, and Tilt.

Jeremy Scott For Swatch

The 2011 collaboration with American designer Jeremy Scott (b.1974) continues Swatch’s proud tradition of working alongside the leading lights of the frontiers of the fashion industry. Known for his quirky and often outrageous design, Jeremy Scott’s watch designs echo the same ebullient qualities for which his fashion designs are internationally famed. The present example includes the Winged Watch, Lighting Flash and Swatch Opulence in the Jeremy Scott Limited Edition box set, available in 777 unique editions.

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